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On the evening of 29th November, 1876, Peace shot and killed a Mr. Dyson, with whose wife he was in love. He escaped, adopted various aliases, and thereafter enjoyed a fairly successful career as a burglar. Eventually he was arrested, convicted of attempting to murder a policeman, and sentenced to penal servitude for life.
His antecedents were investigated and eventually he was found guilty of the murder of Mr. Dyson and sentenced to death. While awaiting his execution he confessed to another murder for which a man was serving a life sentence.